The DOME Group, LLC presents the biggest funk concert to hit the Carolina’s this year on Saturday April 15 at 7pm. The Easter Funk Extravaganza will feature Midnight Star, Con Funk Shun and The Ohio Players at Raleigh’s downtown Red Hat Amphitheater.
For tickets, click here
The synth-funk unit Midnight Star scored several times on the charts during the mid-’80s, led by their double-platinum album No Parking on the Dance Floor in 1983. Just one of the successful acts on Solar Records, the group was formed in 1976 at Kentucky State University by the Calloway brothers, trumpeter Reginald, and trombone player Vincent, with vocalist Belinda Lipscomb. After signing with RCA near the turn of the decade, Midnight Star recorded their first album in 1980, The Beginning, with a conglomeration of studio players and producers.
“Freak-a-Zoid” hit number two on the R&B charts in mid-1983, and though it failed to make the pop Top 40, it pushed the LP over the platinum mark. “Operator,” the first single from their next album, Planetary Invasion, became their highest-charting single, making number 18 on the pop charts.
Con Funk Shun was formed by high-school classmates Michael Cooper and Louis “Tony” McCall, along with Karl Fuller, Paul “Maceo” Harrell, Dennis Johnson, Cedric Martin, and Danny “Sweet Man” Thomas. All of them had been playing together since their high-school days in Vallejo, CA. Felton Pilate, also from Vallejo, joined the group after his band, a local rival, disbanded.
In the early ’70s, the group was a backup band for the Soul Children with the name Project Soul. And when they weren’t on the road with the Soul Children, they were creatively working with various Stax staff writers. They found good fortune at Audio Dimensions, a Memphis recording studio owned by producer Ted Sturges. Around this time, the group named itself after the title of one of their instrumentals, “Con Funk Shun.”
As their sound developed, Pilate and Cooper emerged as the primary lead vocalists. By 1976, the group signed to Mercury, where they remained for ten years. Their first hit for Mercury was “Ffun,” written by Michael Cooper as a tribute to the R&B/funk band Brick. One of the premiere party funk bands of its time, they also began recording ballads and instrumental tracks by the early ’80s. Aside from being the primary musicians on all their albums, Con Funk Shun also contributed to each of their albums as writers, arrangers, and/or producers.
With their slinky, horn-powered grooves, impeccable musicianship, and eye-popping album covers, the Ohio Players were among the top funk bands of the mid-’70s. Emerging from the musical hotbed of Dayton in 1959, the group was originally dubbed the Ohio Untouchables.
Influenced by the groundbreaking funk of Sly & the Family Stone — and with the nasal, cartoon-voiced Bonner assuming vocal duties — the new Ohio Players lineup made their debut with the single “Pain,” issued on the small local label Rubber Town Sounds; it was soon picked up for distribution by the Detroit-based Westbound label, reaching the R&B Top 40 in late 1971.
An LP, also titled Pain, appeared that same year, and was followed in 1972 by Pleasure, which launched the absurdist smash “Funky Worm.” Ecstacy appeared in 1973, and after 1974’s Climax, the Players signed to Mercury. At Mercury, the Ohio Players enjoyed their greatest success; not only did their sound coalesce, but they became notorious for their sexually provocative LP covers, a tradition begun during their Westbound tenure. Their 1974 Mercury debut, Skin Tight, was their first unequivocal classic, launching the hit title track as well as “Jive Turkey.” Its follow-up Fire remains the Players‘ masterpiece.
Since opening on June 4, 2010, The Red Hat Amphitheater has become a beacon for live entertainment in the Southeast. Just steps from the fun and energy of downtown Raleigh’s bars, clubs, galleries and restaurants, this 5,000-seat venue blends the state-of-the-art with the simply convenient.
Divine Order Music and Entertainment Group (The DOME Group, LLC) is an emerging premier entertainment promoter of live entertainment events, including concerts and music festivals, catering to both urban and mainstream markets nationwide.
The company’s extensive portfolio boasts some of the most successful performances to hit the Detroit and Triangle area markets in decades. Sold-out shows have featured artists such as T.I. and Young Jeezy, The Isley Brothers, Nas featuring DMX, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Kem and Indie Arie, Smokey Robinson, The Whispers and The Dramatics, The O’Jays, Anita Baker and Erykah Badu.
The Dome Group, LLC President and CEO is Sulaiman Mausi and Lesleigh Mausi serves as VP and Brand Strategist. Sulaiman also serves as General Manager and Booking Director of Chene Park Amphitheater (Detroit, MI), a 6,000 seat, open-air theater on the shores of the Detroit River. The venue features a star-studded summer concert season that runs from April through October, attracting over 150,000 visitors each year.
For tickets, click here